San Francisco Studio School of Drawing, Painting, Photography & Mixed Media

The School

The San Francisco Studio School is small by design, encouraging accelerated learning, depth and continuity of effort in the student’s search for meaning in his/her work. The school blends the studio emphasis of an atelier with a spirited exploration of theory and contemporary issues relevant to the contemporary visual artist. As part of its philosophy, SFSS maintains a tuition notably lower than other art schools offering graduate-level programs.

The Curriculum

The curriculum is structured into two programs: Painting, Drawing and/or Mixed Media and Photography. The concentration on visual language allows each student’s work to evolve according to his or her sensibility. There is no prejudice toward either representational or abstract art.

The Painting and Drawing Program

The Painting and Drawing program offers depth of experience in an individualized program that should not be confused with adult education classes. It is comprised of studio work, critiques, drawing sessions, critical studies and visits to museums and galleries. Students who wish may elect to complete a certificate program. The final week of each semester concludes with final reviews of semester-long projects.

The instructors are present during the week as appropriate to each area of study to present lectures, talk with students about their work, hold group critiques or to give demonstrations. Depending on the semester's content, guest faculty may participate in talks or presentations at the school.

Mixed Media

Mixed media is pursued as a part of the painting and drawing program. Particular attention is paid to collage and assemblage. In addition, students frequently incorporate the medium of collage as a part of their drawing process for both spatial and image-related reasons.


The Photography Seminar meets weekly for a 3-hour session in a seminar structure. The format includes slide shows, lectures, discussion of readings, critiques and hands-on work. Long distance study with an emphasis on individual needs is available for photography students not living in the Bay Area.


The number of students in either program is strictly limited to ensure a highly focused and productive atmosphere, conducive to individual growth as artists.

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